MALONE is STALKING BIDDER for I-HEART BROADCASTING
USA’s Largest Radio Station Operator
JOHN MALONE .. Who Owns 80% of SIRI
Radio giant iHeartMedia Inc.’s competitors are starting to circle around the San Antonio-based company as it nears bankruptcy with Liberty Media Corp. making a play for part of the company on Saturday.
Liberty, which owns Sirius XM, offered about $1.16 billion in what appeared to be an unsolicited bid that would give it 40 percent of the restructured company’s equity, according to the terms of the offer disclosed Monday.
“They’re probably interested in iHeart’s position as the leading provider in the broadcasting space, and also its streaming product,” Patrice Cucinello,
a director at Fitch Ratings, said of Liberty.
iHeartMedia is the nation’s largest radio company with roughly 850 stations across the U.S. It gave itself 30 days on Feb. 1 to restructure its debt with creditors.
All signs seem to indicate that that company, which has been negotiating a pre-packaged bankruptcy with investors, will file for Chapter 11.
The news adds more uncertainty to the negotiations, and it “might create some complications,” Cucinello said.
There’s probably “synergy” between iHeart and Sirius, said Seth Crystall, a senior credit analyst at Debtwire, including the
possibility of avoiding overpaying for talent.
The deal makes “Perfect Sense” for Liberty Media Chairman John Malone, Crystall said.